Ross Moore can trace his love of modern homes back to a childhood spent in an old Californian bungalow in Takapuna on Auckland's North Shore. "My dad and I always seemed to be working on that house so I've always been keen on owning new homes," says Ross, who bought his Paritai Dr townhouse with wife Frances at the end of 2010 soon after it was finished.
They moved into the townhouse, one in a row of six on the seaward side of Orakei's dress circle street, from a large modern property in Glendowie to be closer to Auckland city and Greenlane, where Ross ran a business until he recently opted for semi-retirement. "This is a much better area to be close to everything. The CBD is on our doorstep - if we want to go in there for a meal and if we have a good night out, it's not too far to come back from in a taxi."
The southwest-facing townhouse, built to the latest standards out of tilt slab concrete, cedar weatherboards and concrete block, is deceptive viewed from the street where its discreet front entrance, driveway and double internal-access garage are all you really see.
Inside, the home has 353sq m of space spread over three and a half levels that include five bedrooms, four bathrooms and two living spaces. These open onto a small front lawn and east-facing courtyard.
The six townhouses are built at right angles to the road with their sea-facing front facades stepped back from each other, so each dwelling is private and makes the most of views over Tamaki Estuary and Hobson Bay. From left to right, the views take in nearby streets, the estuary, Mt St John, Mt Eden, the Sky Tower, part of the railway line near Orakei Station and the Auckland Outdoor Boating Club.
"The views are really interesting because you can always see something going on. There are cars, people launching the boats, jet skis and trains. It's a great way to keep the grandkids occupied when they come to stay." Having five bedrooms and four bathrooms spread over three of the levels also appealed to the Moores, who have four adult children and four grandchildren between them. "When they come to stay, they often all come at the same time, so there is plenty of room for everyone to spread out and have their own bathrooms."
On the mid level where you enter the house are the main living spaces, including the large main lounge, kitchen and dining area with doors leading out to a courtyard that captures the morning sun. The master bedroom with walk-in wardrobe, en suite and large deck is on the top level, along with a second large bedroom and bathroom. On the bottom level are two more bedrooms, a large bathroom, the laundry and a second lounge which opens onto a level deck and front lawn. Stairs running at a right angle to the mid level lead up to "half" level, which includes a fifth bedroom with its own small north-facing balcony and bathroom.
All bathrooms and the kitchen have marble tiles and under-floor heating and all of the bedrooms and main living spaces are carpeted.
Now that Ross is semi-retired he intends to fulfil his lifelong dream to own and restore a project car, so wants more workshop and outdoor space where he can potter at leisure.By Jane Loudon